PDR – the International Centre for Design & Research at Cardiff Metropolitan University has partnered with Cardiff Council to provide young people with Pointr.Wales, a new career planning website.
PDR is renowned for its continued success in innovative design solutions across a range of specialist areas and its user-centred approach has allowed Pointr.Wales to tap into to the needs of users while reinforcing the existing support that was once far more difficult to access.
Motivated by the cost of unemployment to the UK economy and how difficult it had become for young people to find the relevant support, Pointr.Wales was the end product of Cardiff Metropolitan's two-day 'Hack' event. The aim of which was to design new services using existing jobs market data from Cardiff Council, to enable young people to plan their careers and access a wider range of opportunities.
This event brought together local designers and developers with experts in the field of youth unemployment, including youth workers, service providers and those with first-hand experience of being unemployed. It formed part of PDR's SPIDER Project (Supporting Public Service Innovation using Design in European Regions.)
Service Designer Chris Brooker said: 'We had five early prototypes ranging from App solutions to completely reimagining the careers planning process altogether.
"Establishing why young people weren't finding the support and advice they need was key in shaping the website's design.
"The website experienced a thorough testing phase. Successfully supported by a Google Campaign in 2014, Pointr.Wales gained momentum and was used by 1,000 young people who highlighted its strengths and weaknesses and user trends.
"Currently Pointr.Wales is used in Cardiff Schools and is in its BETA, or early release phase.
"Our aim is to make this service available across Wales with the support of other Welsh local authorities.
'Traditional methods for advertising career opportunities are costly and often unsuccessful, Pointr.Wales offers a quick and effective platform for service providers and prospective young people to find each other."
Paul Thurston, Head of Service Design added: "There were many existing services offered to young people but there was a disconnect between the service and young people finding the relevant information they need. Pointr.Wales was built around giving young people a go-to platform in which they could find information in simple terms, which was straight to the point and takes them directly to the service they require.
''Pointr.Wales' best attribute is its navigation which was designed according to user behaviours noted at the prototype stage.
'We are delighted with the success of Pointr.Wales so far and with the support of other Welsh local authorities, this platform could offer the right support to all young people both in and out of education across Wales.
'I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this project, knowing the impact it can have on the start of people's careers and the overall influence these opportunities can have on encouraging employment for young people."
To access the website, see www.pointr.wales
SPIDER is an Interreg IVB project made possible thanks to funding from the ERDF and EU.
To find out more on the SPIDER project, please visit www.thespiderproject.eu